There's a Whole New Set of Wrinkles to Worry About

PHOTO: JuveRest pillow could help with sleep wrinkles.Dr. Goesel Anson
JuveRest pillow could help with sleep wrinkles.

Frown lines. Crow's feet. Dynamic expression lines. It's enough to send a person running to the Botox needle.

And now there's a whole other wrinkle to worry about. The kind that happen while you sleep.

It turns out the notion of "beauty sleep" might be a farce, according to Dr. Goesel Anson, a board certified plastic surgeon. "Sleep wrinkles are created by the distortion of the face when it's pressed into the pillow surface night after night," she said.

But, unlike expression wrinkles, which can be treated by Botox and fillers, Anson said sleep wrinkles can only be prevented. It's a sentiment that's echoed by the American Academy of Dermatology, which suggests sleeping on your back to reduce premature skin aging. Sleeping on your side or your face causes the lines you may notice on your face when you wake up in the morning, the Academy said on its website. "In time, these lines turn into permanent wrinkles."

In other words, not even sunscreen can help you here.

Anson said most people move an average of 20 times per night. To prevent this, she created a $179 sleep pillow to prevent mushing of the face during sleep. The JuveRest sleep wrinkle pillow is especially helpful for side and stomach sleepers, the website says. The photo above shows a 3-D image of sleeping on a regular pillow (left) and the sleep pillow (right).

But do sleep pillows really work? It's definitely possible, though Dr. Lisa Donofrio, associate clinical professor in the Department of Dermatology at the Yale University School of Medicine, said it would "take many years to evaluate their true efficacy. The pillows could work," she said, "by re-distributing pressure and preventing creasing. These pillows seem to help." Donofrio said she recommends the enVy pillow to her patients.

Dr. Patirica Farris said pillows that encourage back sleeping are "definitely beneficial. We see lots of sleep lines that develop on the sides of the cheeks and around the mouth that can be directly attributed to lying on the face."

Another suggestion? "Using linens that are satin and slippery makes you less likely to develop wrinkles," Farris said.

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